HC Deb 13 February 2004 vol 418 cc218-9W
Norman Baker

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs if he will list the benches in England and Wales which have not yet signed up to the Magistrates National Sentencing Guidelines; and what percentage of benches this figure represents. [154759]

Mr. Leslie

The information requested is not collected or held centrally.

The Judicial Studies Board incorporated the revised Magistrates Court Sentencing Guidelines into the Adult Court Bench Book that was recently issued to all magistrates and their legal advisers via their Magistrates Courts' Committees. The guidelines will therefore be available within every magistrates court in England and Wales.

In court lay magistrates sit with their Justices' Clerk or a legal adviser. The Justices' Clerk has a statutory duty to provide advice to the magistrates on questions of law, practice and procedure. This will include advice on applying any case law and relevant Court of Appeal judgments when making decisions on sentence.